Charlotte Smith Field was alive and filled with energy on Sunday afternoon as the then No. 13 Lock Haven University lacrosse team hosted then No. 11 Limestone.
It really was a playoff-like atmosphere for Lock Haven’s final home game of the 2016 season. They didn’t disappoint.
The Bald Eagles put on an offensive and defensive clinic in the first half, outscoring Limestone 8-2.
Limestone took an early 1-0 lead, but Lock Haven answered with six straight goals kicked off with Alex O’Herrick’s 20th goal of the season. Emily Brunie scored twice, as did Rachel Engler, and Hope Thomas added another goal to make it 6-1 Bald Eagles.
“It was the biggest team win we’ve had all season,” said O’Herrick. “We’re just going to have to carry this into the rest of the season and postseason.”
Engler completed her first half hat-trick with a little over eight minutes to play, and Ashley Gochenaur scored her 16th to give the Eagles an 8-2 lead at the half.
The offensive spurt continued in the second half, as Lock Haven scored five of the first six goals to begin the half. Jenna Dingler scored her 13th, Karli Gilbert scored her fourth and Engler added two more.
Engler wasn’t done, though, as she put Lock Haven up 14-6 with 10 minutes remaining in the half, giving her six goals on the afternoon. Engler was later named PSAC Player of the Week.
“It feels great,” said Engler. “But I couldn’t do it without my teammates.”
Gilbert added two more, notching her first career college hat trick.
“It was amazing,” Gilbert said on her hat trick. “It still hasn’t really registered that it actually happened.”
The Bald Eagles went on to win 17-8.
O’Herrick dominated on the draws, winning as many as 14 in a row at one point.
Shannon Bissnette had four assists while Hayley Kilian had a goal and five assists.
It was the first time all season that Lock Haven had really played a full 60 minute game. It was indeed their best performance of the season and the signature win they had been looking for.
“It was 100 percent a team effort,” said Engler. “Every single player that stepped on the field today gave 100 percent.”
“Not one single person got this win for us. We all did it together.”